choosing a wedding venue!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Back in January, Tyler and I decided on a wedding venue and wedding date! We are going to be married April 11, 2015 in Omaha, NE.  In case you missed our proposal story, you can read that here.

We got engaged on October 31, 2013. When we got engaged we pretty much had two options:
1.Start planning immediately and have less than 10 months to plan the wedding
2. Have a longer engagement and have almost a year and a half to plan the wedding

Since we are getting married in Omaha, where we are both from, but currently live in Kansas City, we decided to have a long engagement. Every wedding decision we need to make will require a trip home and we wanted to be able to spread that out. We decided we have our whole lives to be married, but only a year and half to be engaged! We wanted to enjoy this stage of life, too!

Our original choice for our wedding date was April 4, 2015. Our four year anniversary will be on April 3, so we thought it would be fun for our rehearsal dinner to fall on our anniversary and have the wedding the next day. Well, Easter is super early next year and falls on April 5th! So, we moved the wedding to the next week.

When looking at wedding venues, we pretty much had one requirement: it needed to be close to a hotel. We will have a lot of out of town guests and we wanted it to be easy for them to get to and from the reception from their hotel. The venue needed to either be within walking distance to a hotel, or near a hotel that would provide shuttle service to our guests. We have been to multiple weddings where we have to figure out a ride home and when you're in an unfamiliar city it is not always easy! Cabs are easy to get the night of the wedding, but trying to get a cab to pick up your car at 9 AM the next morning so you can check out of the hotel is no easy feat :).

Below are pictures of our top three choices for our wedding venue! (As you can tell from the pictures we toured in December. I'm a little behind in writing this post!)

Scoular Ballroom


Pros: Beautiful space, located in downtown Omaha, choice of caterer from about a list of seven, free parking for guests
Cons: Tablecloths, napkins, china, etc. are not included so it requires a lot more planning on our part

Paxton Ballroom


Pros: Separate space for cocktail hour and reception, private parking garage for guests, very pretty architecture, in the heart of down town
Cons: Small stage for DJ, small dance floor, and small room in general; they said in our tour that our anticipated guest list was room capacity

Ralston Arena


Pros: New building so very few weddings have taken place here, modern look (+ fire place in center!), easy parking for guests, close to interstate for out of town guests
Cons: A sporting event will be taking place at the time of our wedding, in-house caterer we have never heard of, hotel being built next door but nothing currently there

We immediately narrowed our list down to Ralston and Scoular simply because of the size of the Paxton. This space is beautiful and if you have a guest list smaller than ours, I would highly recommend it! If our guest list were about 50 people smaller it would have been in the running longer.

Choosing our wedding venue was actually pretty difficult for us. I think we struggled with it because so much is decided based off of your venue: where your guests stay, the food you can serve, the drinks you can serve, how many people you invite, etc. I talked to some of my married friends and they all said choosing the venue was their hardest decision, so at least we're fairly normal :).After reading this list of pros and cons, I think the right decision for us was obvious. Maybe I should have written this out right after we toured and the right place for us would have stood out, ha!

We ended up booking with the Scoular Ballroom and I could not be more excited! (Tyler told me a few weeks ago that he was so "pumped for the wedding at Scoular", too!) The space is beautiful, the wedding coordinator is extremely helpful and easy to talk to, and the options for everything are endless! (Yes, that requires more work on our part... but that's why we have a year and a half to plan ;)).

We have since figured out our food and alcohol. I will do an updated post about those when we get to do our tasting! Our next step will be choosing our photographer!

Thank you to Tyler for putting up with my indecisiveness, Tyler's parents for their help and patience in our search for finding the venue, and my mother for listening to countless phone calls of me weighing the options, helping drop off deposits, and attending events for me that I can't because I live in KC <3.

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46 thoughts

  1. All of the venues look beautiful! I'm so glad you guys were able to make the decision together and find the perfect one. No matter what, your wedding day will be absolutely wonderful. It's such a fun and crazy ride while planning a wedding. Enjoy every second of it :) can't wait to continue reading about your journey!

    -Bree @ theaveragecupcake.com

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  2. Hi Darcy, congratulations, it must be so exciting planning a wedding! Choosing a venue is so difficult but once thats done, everything falls into place perfectly. All the best doll! Thanks for sharing your opinions with me :)

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  3. Getting married can be exciting if you enjoy the process... rushing it would only make you exhausted... I like all the venue's, I am sure your wedding will be gorgeous :)

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  4. Lovey coat!
    Marina
    http://www.maridress.blogspot.it/
    https://www.facebook.com/maridressfashionblog
    http://www.bloglovin.com/maridress
    https://twitter.com/maridressblog

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  5. Your coat is so cute! Wise decision to postpone a little the wedding and to have enough time to plan everything. I hope that you are not too exhausted already. The drawback of having so much time on your hands is that sometimes you can slip into over-thinking mode. All the venues look great, from what I can see on the pictures. I think I like the first one the most - is it the classiest or is it just me? xxxx

    http://inmysuitcasee.blogspot.com/

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    1. I think that having so much time to plan is what made me hesitant to actually book a venue! Hopefully I got that out of the way so the rest will be smooth sailing haha. The first one is definitely the classiest! I am so excited to have our wedding there. I don't know how I ever doubted my decision before! Thanks for reading <3.

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  6. I believe you guys pick the right one and it looks base on the image more elegant. You look stunning you guys look great together.
    http://tifi11.blogspot.com

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  7. Yeah how exciting!!!! I was hoping you were going to say that one! I think a longer time is nice so you don't feel so stressed and rushed! xoxoxo
    ~Amanda
    Meet @ the Barre

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Thank you, Hollis! I think it's just something nice to keep in mind for your guests. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. I hate when I find out all those little things aren't included! But it looks like your picked a beautiful spot! Venue searching was the hardest part for us!

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  10. You two are cute together! I think a long engagement is great. It's a new stage in the relationship, I don't know why people rush it.

    www.thesequinedswans.blogspot.com

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  11. we had our wedding in a hotel and then got a kickass group rate for those who wanted to get a room.

    you guys are adorable!

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

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    1. Tyler really wanted to do that because he is a Hilton Rewards member and would get so many points from that! Surprisingly, the hotels we looked at were more expensive (since they were in downtown Omaha) than just the stand alone ballrooms. Definitely an awesome idea and so convenient for your guests!

      Darcy

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  12. Looks like a great venue. Congratulations on the engagement. Enjoy the planning.

    pinkandnavystripes.com

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  13. yay yay yay! cannot wait, it's on my mental calendar already ;)

    so glad you picked a venue, it really does start to flow after that, since so much cannot be decided until you have picked one. super excited about it and glad you love it so much!

    xo mk
    thegoldhattedlover.blogspot.com

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  14. Congratulations dear !! Wish you all the best :) xx
    www.ambifashion.com

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  15. We had all of our high school proms at the Scoular Ballroom - it's a great venue! So excited for both of you. Planning is so much fun. If you haven't already check out a three-ring binder type planner with plenty of extras (like zippered pouches, etc.) to help you keep track of everything! I found something like this at Target: http://www.amazon.com/Martha-Stewarts-Keepsake-Wedding-Planner/dp/1400048001/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1392219707&sr=8-10&keywords=wedding+planner+binder

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    1. Oo that's a good idea! I have just been keeping track of everything in an Excel sheet.. but it's kind of annoying to have to log on to my computer anytime I need to check something.

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  16. Every place looks like you wont be making a bad desicion!! Good luck with all your planning!!! :) I am the maid of honor to a wedding on April 25, 2015!! :)

    Love Always,
    Elizabeth

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  17. Oh very beautiful pics!
    xx

    www.sakuranko.com

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  18. Hey girl, I somehow missed the engagement story so that is a fantastic surprise! Congratulations, it must be awful to choose the right venue, hope you made a great choice! Good luck to you two and best wishes! Thanks for your lovely comment, xoxo
    http://www.hollylovespaul.com/

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  19. YAYYAY!I am so happy for you and I am sure that the location is going to be stunning!

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  20. So fun following along with all your wedding planning! I'm glad you decided to include all the details in your blog. You two are SUCH a good looking couple, and I just love your houndstooth coat. That is awesome. Looking forward to more wedding planning details in future posts. :) -Gina
    On the Daily Express

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  21. I also prefer long engagement :) (yes, I'm engaged too ;) ), and you look lovely with your fiance ;)

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com/

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  22. Um you to are so adorable!! I cannot wait to see the finished product of your wedding--I just know it will be beautiful!

    Tori
    FashionBlingGirlyThings

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  23. How exciting! Congratulations on the engagement - and thank you for your kind comment over at Team Skelley. With us being snowed in, I should be doing planks every day, instead I am overdosing on pasta. Newest follower on Bloglovin' - I look forward to reading about your wedding planning, so much has changed since our wedding in '02, it is a whole new world of options!

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  24. Congrats dear....you guys make a lovely couple...god bless you both...:-)
    http://www.beautyandfashionfreaks.com/

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  25. OMG so many decisions to make! I feel like I would never be able to make up my mind, my advice is to trust your gut!
    -Alex
    http://www.monstermisa.blogspot.com/

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  26. Hi dear!!
    This post is so amazing, just perfect like always :)
    Come to see mine, and my new post "Don't care"
    http://peaceinmyshoes.blogspot.com.es/

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  27. Congrats on setting the date! Can't wait to see more details unfold!

    -Janice
    jraabulous.blogspot.com

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  28. i freakin' love that you are having a long engagement. no need to rush it and stress out further! this gives you more time and your wedding will be more awesome because of it!

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  29. Oh yes wedding planning is A LOT of work, oh boy. But sounds like you made a great choice.

    Allie of ALLIE NYC
    allienyc.com

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  30. Awesome post! Loving that first outfit! =D
    By the way, I love this online wedding accessories store, amazing products, maybe you like it too http://http://mhl.elo7.com.br/


    http://whattostyle.blogspot.com/
    xoxo,
    Jess

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  31. hey darcy! excellent choice (Scoular). after reviewing each one, I would've picked that one too. so good for you guys. you're going to have a fabulous wedding! you two are so cute! PLUS April is a gorgeous month to get married in. I always find it to be so pretty. good luck doll.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  32. Congrats on finding a place! A long engagement goes by fast! I was engaged for 2 1/2 years!! Wedding planning is so much fun!
    xo,
    Jacqueline
    stylininstlouis.com

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  33. Yay! So exciting!! Sounds like a beautiful venue especially the fireplace!!

    <3 Shannon
    upbeatsoles.blogspot.com

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  34. Congrats on finding a venue! SO exciting! A cute houndstooth coat helps too :)

    xo, Megan Ann

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  35. Congrats! You two look so cute! And can we talk about how adorable your coat is... :)

    www.cappuccinoandfashion.com

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  36. After reading this, it sounds like you made a good choice. Planning a wedding can be so stressful and difficult! Choosing the venue is definitely one of the hardest decisions. I'm glad you found one you are so excited about!

    http://howtomakehome.blogspot.com

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  37. I love watching your wedding plans unfold! I love weddings in general, thanks for sharing!

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  38. Take your time and enjoy it! I was engaged from 2007-2012 lol. I wanted the wedding I wanted and we had to plan and save for that! I hate to say YOLO but...you get the idea.
    You two are a gorgeous couple!
    -ash
    www.stylizedwannabe.blogspot.com

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  39. Thanks for the information! I was actually in need of these kind of information. I am looking for Wedding venues Chicago and confused a lot to reserve which one for my wedding.

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    1. Oh you are welcome! If you have any questions feel free to email me! Good luck!

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  40. Just discovered your blog and immediately perused the Wedding tab (between being obsessed with weddings since age 4 and also being engaged, that was a given haha). I wanted to thank you for your fresh perspective on having a long engagement.

    My fiance and I moved from FL to CA 2 months after getting engaged, which sort of "forces" us to have a long engagement with all the other life maintenance things that come with a move. In fact, with NorCal weather being better in late summer/fall and a big construction project at our venue, it's going to be almost 1 3/4 years total from engagement date to wedding date. Your post gave me a fresh perspective on having a long engagement and the fact that this is a unique time in our lives to be treasured! Plus it's nice to know of other people going the same route as us. Thanks so much for the post and best of luck planning. <3

    http://thecoralcameo.blogspot.com/

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